Holistic Health and Wellness
Physical well-being directly relates to emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. Research shows that holistic care—the concept of combining complementary and conventional medical therapies—enhances a patient’s overall well-being and improves the healing process.
What is Holistic Health and Wellness?
At Gillette, holistic health and wellness describes health care that combines conventional treatments (e.g. medication, surgery) with integrative modalities (e.g. music therapy, Healing Touch, osteopathic manipulation therapy, essential oils, etc.) to promote well-being, alleviate the side effects of medication, and aid in the rehabilitation and treatment of complex medical conditions. Integrative therapies don’t replace conventional treatment but are used as an effective complement to the other care we provide.
Integrative therapies that are available as part of inpatient services range from aromatherapy and massage to nutrition guidance and music therapy. These therapies are often credited with easing nausea, improving circulation and increasing comfort. Research has shown that when used in conjunction with medical care, integrative therapies can help ease related symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life.
Many of the physicians, therapists, nurses, and other health care staff here at Gillette are trained in both conventional and integrative care and can guide you in choosing services that best fit your diagnosis, treatment schedule, and interests.
Who benefits from Holistic Health modalities?
Holistic Health modalities are available to patients of all ages during hospital stays or clinic visits. Children, teens and adults who have complex, rare and traumatic conditions can benefit from integrative care designed to reduce stress, decrease symptoms and enhance overall well-being.
“My Body was Haunted” – Ali’s Recovery from Chronic Pain
Even after an injury heals, sometimes an imprint of it can remain. How this happens varies from person to person. But for some individuals, like Ali Tokkesdal, it manifests in the form of chronic pain. “I couldn’t walk. It felt like my body had turned against me, like it was haunted,” says Ali.
Types of Holistic Health Modalities
Based on your child’s needs, we’ll develop a tailored integrated health plan that might include therapies such as:
Adaptive Yoga fosters mind-body awareness while building strength and flexibility for individuals with developmental, intellectual, and/or physical disabilities. Adaptive Yoga also provides an enhanced ability to manage stress, a deepened sense of connection with others, hope, and a renewed sense of freedom through movement and breathwork.
Aromatherapy uses extracts from plants to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being by reducing stress, promoting sleep and increasing comfort. At Gillette, we use bergamot, ginger, lavender, orange and peppermint essential oils.
Clinical Hypnosis creates a state of focused attention allowing one to self-regulate a variety of symptoms thereby gaining an empowering sense of control. By promoting conscious mind-body connections, patients can achieve a desired therapeutic outcome such as a reduction in acute and chronic pain, calming a variety of fears and easing anxiety.
Guided Imagery involves using mental images in a purposeful way to achieve a desired therapeutic goal. It begins with general relaxation techniques then uses guided visualization to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and focus on breathing. A typical session lasts 20 to 25 minutes.
Hand Relaxation is a massage technique developed by Gillette nurses that can be provided for patients to help reduce anxiety, modulate pain, and promote rest, relaxation and sleep.
Healing Touch (HT) is an energy therapy in which clinicians use their hands in a heart-centered, intentional way to support health and promote healing. HT can be used to modulate pain and increase comfort, reduce anxiety, strengthen immune function, and enhance rest, relaxation and sleep.
Mind-Body Awareness helps to develop and support greater awareness of the connection between the mind and the body to support wellness and maximize the power of the mind and the body together. This approach uses various techniques to ground, expand and balance.
Music Therapy is the clinical use of music by a credentialed professional to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. Addressing physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs, music therapy can be used to improve quality of life, modulate pain and reduce stress.
Nutritional Counseling involves the therapeutic application of nutritional modifications to reduce inflammation, restore depletions and promote overall well-being. Good nutrition is fundamental to optimal health with an array of medicinal properties such as improved postsurgical recovery, gastrointestinal health and stronger immune function.
Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT) is a holistic, hands-on approach used to diagnose and treat a variety of symptoms by facilitating balance and alignment in the body through gentle, soft-tissue techniques. By promoting the body’s innate ability to heal itself, OMT can relieve a variety of distressing symptoms thereby improving function.
Pet Therapy offers a guided interaction that involves partnering trained dogs and handlers with patients in order to normalize a hospital stay, ease anxiety and enhance coping within the hospital environment. The benefits of pet therapy include improved mental, social and physiological health; relaxation and play; and increased satisfaction and morale.
Psychotherapy Consult is available to support emotional and behavioral adjustment while in the hospital. Various psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive-behavioral, guided imagery, relaxation, biofeedback and other coping strategies may be incorporated as warranted.
Spirituality Support uses supportive listening to help patients and families understand and process difficult situations. A chaplain works toward identifying coping mechanisms and finding hope, meaning, personal strengths and resiliency that will assist patients and families through difficult events.
Virtual Reality (VR) allows a patient to visit Iceland or London, relax on a beach, or watch a campfire right from the comfort of a hospital bed. VR helps to relax and distract patients and their families during procedures or therapies. Benefits include improved range of motion and strength, increased social interaction and improved cognitive outcomes.
To request more information about any of these integrative modalities or to request a consultation, please speak with your care team.